“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.”

Josh Billings, Comedian

Pros and Cons of Working as a Pet Sitter

advantages and disadvantages of being a pet sitter

You think about becoming a pet sitter but are not entirely sure whether this career path is the way to go for you? Good news!

This article is exactly for you since I show you all the pros and cons of being a pet sitter in the following chapters.

Without further ado, let’s get right into it!

Pet Sitter Job Profile

Job DescriptionPet sitters care for pets while their owners are away.
Salary$28,000 per year on average, most pet sitters make between $22,000 and $32,000 per year. The average hourly wage is around $16.
Job SecurityPoor job security since you will be replaceable as a pet sitter.
Job SatisfactionDecent if you love to work with pets.
Work-Life BalanceGood since you will not have to work long hours.
Physically / Mentally Demanding?Neither mentally nor physically demanding most of the time.
Future OutlookRather poor since barriers to entry are quite low and you will have to compete with many people in this field.
RequirementsNo special educational requirements. Finishing high school will often be enough for becoming a pet sitter.

Advantages of Working as a Pet Sitter

  1. Pet sitting is not stressful
  2. You can work with many different animals
  3. Working with pets can be fun
  4. You can find meaning in life
  5. Pet sitters don’t work many extra hours
  6. Decent work-life balance for pet sitters
  7. You can start your own pet sitting business
  8. Your work may not feel like work
  9. You can learn a lot regarding how to deal with your own pets
  10. You will be able to work rather independently
  11. You can avoid working in classical office jobs
  12. You can avoid hard physical work
  13. Pet sitters don’t need fancy education
  14. Good job for students or retirees

Pet sitting is not stressful

One advantage of working as a pet sitter is that this job is just not too stressful.

Sure, you will always have pets that misbehave and don’t listen to your commands.

Yet, compared to many other jobs out there, you will just not have the same stress level since you will not have that much time pressure and will rather be able to enjoy your time at work in a relaxed manner.

Hence, working as a pet sitter can be great for you in case you don’t want to have constant stress at work but rather want to enjoy your time as much as possible.

You can work with many different animals

Not only will your workday be rather relaxed, but you will also be able to work with many different animals.

This can be quite a lot of fun since it makes your time at work much more interesting.

For instance, if you only cared for one specific animal for a longer period of time, chances are that your job would be quite boring.

Yet, if you are able to work for many different clients and care for many different pets, you will always experience new things and character traits and this can also be really beneficial when it comes to learning about animals and how they behave in general.

Working with pets can be fun

Another benefit of working as a pet sitter is that it can just be quite a lot of fun.

If you love working with animals, a career as a pet sitter can be great for you since you will be surrounded by pets all day long.

Of course, this is not for everyone since not everyone is passionate about animals and some people also don’t like animals at all.

Yet, if you are really passionate about pet sitting and really want to work with pets, this can be a great way to spend your workday.

You can find meaning in life

For many pet sitters, what they are doing is more than just a job.

In fact, many pet sitters are not just in their jobs for making money, but caring for pets is a real passion for them.

Some people even find true meaning in life by working as a pet sitter.

This is especially true for older people who often don’t have that many social contacts anymore.

In such a case, pet sitting can be great since those older people get company and don’t feel alone anymore.

Consequently, if you currently struggle to find meaning in your life for several possible reasons, you should ask yourself what’s missing.

If you don’t like your current job at all and are just in the game for the money, chances are that you might be happier quitting your job and going for a career as a pet sitter instead, even though this may imply earning less money.

Pet sitters don’t work many extra hours

You will also not have to work many extra hours as a pet sitter.

In fact, most pet sitters work less than 40 hours a week and some of them even only work part-time.

Hence, depending on how much you want to work and how much money you need right now, you will often have the option to work more or less.

Of course, this also depends on the company you work for or if you even work self-employed.

However, pet sitters are often rather flexible in this regard and will also have plenty of leisure which they can spend on other things they like more than work.

Decent work-life balance for pet sitters

In general, pet sitters also enjoy a pretty decent work-life balance.

Since you will not have to work that many hours, you will have plenty of time left for your hobbies or also to meet up with your friends.

You can also spend lots of quality time with your family.

Consequently, a career as a dog sitter or cat sitter can also be great for you in case money is not that important to you and you rather want to have plenty of leisure.

You can start your own pet sitting business

Another upside of becoming a pet sitter is that you will also not necessarily have to work for a pet sitting company.

If you are a rather entrepreneurial type of person, you will also be able to start your own pet sitting business.

Of course, this will take much more work and perseverance compared to just working for someone else.

Yet, it also gives you a greater level of freedom since you will be able to work autonomously and don’t have a boss that can tell you what you have to do.

Thus, if you always wanted to have your own business, pet sitting may be a chance for you in this regard since it doesn’t take that much upfront investment and you can also get going pretty soon.

You may also want to work as an employed pet sitter for a few years, gather some knowledge, make some client contacts and then open your own business.

This can make your life much easier since you will already have some clients right from the beginning instead of just starting out from scratch.

Your work may not feel like work

Many people also really enjoy pet sitting.

In fact, for many pet sitters, what they do doesn’t feel like work to them. It rather feels like enjoying their leisure.

Sure, not every day will be that relaxed and fun.

Yet, if you really love pets, chances are that you will really enjoy what you are doing and your workdays will just fly by.

In my opinion, this is the best way to work since you can combine your passion with making money and you will only stay happy in the long run if you really like what you are doing.

You can learn a lot regarding how to deal with your own pets

As a pet sitter, you will also be able to learn quite a lot for your own personal life.

For instance, if you want to keep pets at home, you will have an important advantage compared to many other people since you will have plenty of experience from your work and can avoid mistakes most other people will make in the beginning when it comes to training your pet.

You can also save you quite a lot of nerves and can spend your time more efficiently with your pets since you will know what you should and shouldn’t do to raise them in a decent manner while many other people will feel overwhelmed and helpless at first.

You may even be able to help out your family and friends since you can show them how to treat their pets in a proper manner and what things to avoid at all costs.

You will be able to work rather independently

Another advantage of working as a pet sitter is that you will also be able to work in a rather independent manner.

If you work self-employed, you can make your workday completely like you want it to be.

Even if you work for a pet sitting company, you will still enjoy a significant level of freedom regarding how to spend your day.

For instance, during good weather, you could go outside with the pets you have to care for.

However, during bad weather, you will be able to stay indoors most of the time.

You will also be free what you play with those pets as long as you make sure that they are safe with you.

You can avoid working in classical office jobs

You will also be able to avoid classical office work as a pet sitter.

While some people like working in those jobs, most people out there are just working in office jobs for the money and don’t like what they are doing at all.

In fact, the level of dissatisfaction with those jobs is enormous and many of these office workers secretly wish to work in a different field.

Sure, this also depends on your character type.

Yet, if you don’t want to work in those artificial office environments and rather want to do something that is more natural and interactive, chances are that working as a pet sitter will be a great way to go for you.

You can avoid hard physical work

While pet sitting involves some physical exercise since you have to go for a walk with dogs and so on, you will not have to do any hard physical work.

For instance, while construction workers will often have to lift heavy stuff and will ruin their spine in the long run, you will be able to work in a rather relaxed manner and will likely not suffer from the health problems that may come along with hard physical work.

Pet sitters don’t need fancy education

Another benefit of becoming a pet sitter is that you will also not need a college degree or any other fancy education.

Most of the time, it will be enough to finish high school and you will be good to go.

In fact, you will learn most things you need on the job.

Consequently, don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a fancy degree.

You will most likely not need it for a pet sitting career and should just apply and see what happens.

Good job for students or retirees

Pet sitting is especially popular among retirees and students.

Students often look for a job to make some extra money to finance their studies and to afford some things they urgently need.

They are also often not be able to work full-time during their studies and search for a job where they can work a few hours a day.

Retirees like pet sitting since they will no longer be alone at home all they long and can make some extra money to increase their pension.

As you can see, you don’t necessarily have to work full-time as a pet sitter.

You can also make some quick bucks in case you are in financial trouble and urgently need money for several reasons.

As you can see from the previous discussion, there are definitely many advantages of working as a pet sitter.

Yet, apart from all the nice things that come along with it, there are also some issues related to a career in pet sitting that I want to show you in the following.

Disadvantages of Becoming a Pet Sitter

  1. Pet sitters don’t make much money
  2. You may need a second job
  3. Pet sitters have a rather low social status
  4. Old-age poverty can be a problem for pet sitters
  5. You will have a hard time getting a mortgage
  6. Pet sitters have to be flexible
  7. You will not be able to plan for your future
  8. Pet sitters are replaceable
  9. Job insecurity may lead to mental problems
  10. Not a suitable career if you suffer from pet allergies
  11. You sometimes have to deal with difficult clients
  12. Pets may scratch or bite you
  13. You may get bored if you are not passionate about pets

Pet sitters don’t make much money

One problem with being a pet sitter is that you will not make much money from what you are doing.

In fact, many pet sitters are barely able to pay their bills and are also not able to afford any luxury at all.

Hence, if money is really important to you, chances are that you should not become a pet sitter but rather go for a different career path instead.

You may need a second job

Since you will not make good money as a pet sitter, you may even need a second or third job to survive.

Especially in expensive regions where living costs are quite high, many pet sitters often struggle to pay rent and to finance other basic expenses of their lives.

Working in more than one job is not fun at all.

Trust me, it implies all kinds of problems and can also be really annoying in the long run.

Hence, if you want to avoid those issues, you should rather go for a job that pays significantly more than you make in the pet sitting industry.

Pet sitters have a rather low social status

You should also not expect to be admired by other people as a pet sitter.

While many people will be grateful for what you are doing, they will still often belittle you.

Even your own family and friends may not understand your decision to become a pet sitter and you will therefore often have to deal with snarky comments in this regard.

Old-age poverty can be a problem for pet sitters

Another downside of working as a pet sitter is that you will also not be able to save and invest enough money to protect yourself against old-age poverty.

Many pet sitters struggle to pay their bills once they retire since they simply don’t get enough pension to cover their bills.

Consequently, many retirees who worked in the pet sitting industry will have to work even at retirement age instead of enjoying the last years of their lives.

You will have a hard time getting a mortgage

Due to your low income and your insecure overall financial condition, banks will also not be keen on lending pet sitters large amounts of money.

For instance, if you want to buy a home, banks may not grant you a mortgage since they consider you as not financially stable enough.

In turn, you may never be able to afford to buy your own home and may have to spend lots of money on rent.

Pet sitters have to be flexible

Another disadvantage of becoming a pet sitter is that you will also have to be rather flexible regarding your working hours.

Especially if you work self-employed, a client will call you in the evening and will inform you that his or her plans have changed and that your working hours will change as well.

This can be really annoying, especially if you want to plan your vacation or short trips since you will often have to adjust or even cancel your plans in such a case.

You will not be able to plan for your future

In general, it will be pretty hard for you to plan for the future as a pet sitter.

Since you will not make that much money and also often only have short-term contracts, you will suffer from constant insecurity regarding what your life will look like in the future.

In turn, your overall quality of life may suffer quite a lot, especially if you are the type of person who really prefers safety over risk.

Pet sitters are replaceable

You should also not expect your job as a pet sitter to be safe.

Barriers to entry in this field are quite low since almost everyone can do the job.

This means that you will have to compete with many people when it comes to finding a job and it also means that you will be replaceable quite easily.

Job insecurity may lead to mental problems

Many pet sitters also develop serious mental health issues in the long run due to the constant high level of insecurity they have to deal with every day.

Most pet sitters don’t know when they get fired and how their future looks like and constantly have to worry about what comes next.

There will always be a significant level of dependency if you work as an employed pet sitter and you should really ask yourself whether you are willing to spend your life with this constant level of insecurity or if you rather want to go for a more stable alternative instead.

Not a suitable career if you suffer from pet allergies

Before becoming a pet sitter, you should also make sure that you have no pet allergies since you would just not get happy with a career as a pet sitter if you suffered from those issues.

You sometimes have to deal with difficult clients

You should also not expect all clients to be nice.

While most people will be really thankful for what you are doing for their little friends, some people are just difficult and will never be satisfied with the work you are doing.

In turn, you will have many discussions with those people and this can be really annoying since those people often don’t even want to hear what you have to say.

Pets may scratch or bite you

While this is often just a minor problem, you should also be aware of the fact that some pets may scratch or even bite you.

In the worst case, you may get infected with serious diseases. Hence, make sure that you have proper vaccinations in place.

You may get bored if you are not passionate about pets

You should also really make sure that working as a pet sitter is what you are really passionate about.

Otherwise, you will get pretty bored sooner or later and will not become happy in the long run with this career path.

Top 10 Being a Pet Sitter Pros & Cons – Summary List

Being a Pet Sitter ProsBeing a Pet Sitter Cons
Being a pet sitter is not that stressfulPet sitters don’t make much money
You don’t have to work long hoursYou may need a second job
Decent work-life balance for pet sittersPet sitters often suffer from old-age poverty
You can work with petsYou may get bored in the long run
Working as a pet sitter can be a passionYou have to be flexible as a pet sitter
You can find meaning in lifeYou will be replaceable rather easily
You can start your own businessPets may bite you
Pet sitters can work independentlyNot suitable if you have pet allergies
You don’t need a college degreeLimited promotion opportunities
You can avoid hard physical workYou may not get a mortgage as a pet sitter

Should You Become A Pet Sitter?

As you can see, there are indeed many advantages and disadvantages of being a pet sitter.

You should take your time and evaluate all the pros and cons yourself to make a profound decision regarding this important topic.

Also make sure to check out the following articles:

Advantages and disadvantages of working as a babysitter

Advantages and disadvantages of working as a nanny

Advantages and disadvantages of working as a forester

Sources

https://www.statista.com/statistics/463679/pet-care-services-market-value-in-the-united-kingdom-by-category/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1115339/pet-care-spending-per-capita-worldwide/

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

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